United States Patent 3839971

An apparatus for washing the contaminants from gases and fumes including means for creating a draft, as well as means for facilitating the burning of combustible materials. Baffles are provided to create steam to mix with the smoke which is then condensed to remove the particles from the smoke by causing a swirling action.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
110/119, 110/235
International Classes:
B01D45/08; B01D47/06; B01D50/00; F23J15/04; (IPC1-7): F23G5/00
Field of Search:
119/8R,8A,8C,18R,18C,119 106
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3605386N/A1971-09-20Erwin et al.
3362837Dense heat insulating and nonabsorbent concrete1968-01-09Walker
3190244Incinerator and smoke-consuming apparatus1965-06-22Hoskinson

Primary Examiner:
Sprague, Kenneth W.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Bacon & Thomas
What is claimed

1. A device for removing contaminants comprising:

2. A device as defined in claim 1 wherein said combustion chamber has a lining of refractory material including expanded volcanic ash.

3. A device as defined in claim 1 including a lower baffle positioned close to said combustion chamber, said lower baffle having a trough-like shape wherein water will collect and be turned into steam upon heating.

4. A device as defined in claim 1 wherein said fan means are directed at an angle of about 45° to the normal upward flow of gas.

5. A device as defined in claim 1 including a refractory material thereon, said refractory material including expanded pumicite.

6. A device as defined in claim 1 including a water collection area positioned in the bottom of the lowermost washing module, means for removing the water from said water collection area and means for recirculating the water back to said spraying means.

7. A device as defined in claim 6 including a settling tank in said recirculating means.

8. A device as defined in claim 1 wherein said emission chamber is a drawer-like structure.

9. A device as defined in claim 8 wherein said drawer-like structure includes a grate therein and refractory material on said walls.

10. A device as defined in claim 1 including a stack above said washing module and a draft inducing fan in said stack.

11. A device as defined in claim 1 including a plurality of stacked washing modules, each having a plurality of staggered baffles and spraying means therein.

12. A device as defined in claim 1 including an upper baffle positioned above said spraying means, said upper baffle having down-turned edges to cause a swirling action of the steam laden gases whereby the water will be induced to drop out.

13. A combustion chamber having walls of a refractory material, said refractory material including cement, course aggregate, sand, water and expanded pumicite.

14. A combustion chamber as defined in claim 10 wherein said expanded pumicite is mixed in a ratio of about six cubic feet per each cubic yard of aggregate, sand, water and cement.


This application is an improvement utilizing certain basic features from my earlier U.S. Pat. No. 3,646,897, issued Mar. 7, 1972 and entitled METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR POLLUTION FREE BURNING OF AUTOMOBILE BODIES.


This invention relates to an apparatus for washing gases produced (1) by the burning of combustible waste materials and (2) by certain fume collecting chambers without releasing harmful pollutants into the atmosphere. More particularly, the invention relates to a device which includes a multi-step washing process for removing the contaminants from gases eminating from the combustion or fume collecting chamber.

Due to the ever-increasing problem of air pollution from various sources, it has become necessary to curtail, and in many instances completely eliminate the use of incinerators and the like for disposing burnable refuse and trash. This has obviously caused a serious problem in the economics of disposing of such waste materials, and in some instances has forced the accumulation of large quantities of such wastes.

There is obviously only a limited amount of space available, both from the standpoint of location and economics, for the currently used landfill methods of disposing of solid materials.

In other cases, it has been possible to recycle certain materials such as cardboard, paper, etc.; but the cost of preparation for recycling, transportation and the like make this an expensive method of disposal.

Many processing plants have run into serious difficulties in continuing their operations due to unlawful emissions of contaminants into the atmosphere. Even though costly devices have been available in some instances, the continued violation of pollution control laws by many individuals and companies is an indication of the lack of effectiveness or the high cost of these devices. This has resulted in many industries being at a loss as to the method of coping with the problem, and in many cases have left the companies and pollution control organizations at an impasse. Therefore, there is a need for a low-cost, pollution-free disposal method and apparatus.


An object of this invention is to provide a low cost means for the reduction of contaminants released into the atmosphere by the burning of combustible trash.

It is another object of the invention to provide a relatively small device which has a size and price within the range of a large number of merchants and businesses having trash disposal problems.

It is still a further object of the invention to provide a relatively compact and inexpensive kit for conversion of conventional incinerators to devices suitable for operation within the limits of pollution control laws.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a relatively inexpensive means for the effective reduction of the contaminants released by industrial plant equipment engaged in processes releasing dust and other particulates, including vapors and entrained fluids.

Another object of this invention is to provide a device which permits the conversion of conventional incinerators to pollution-free trash burning devices by means of a modular type device.

Another object of the invention is to provide a device which may be adapted to treat emissions from process equipment such as cement plants, deep fat frying equipment, rock crushers, flour mills, cleaning establishments, chemical plants and similar types of processes to facilitate removal of harmful and/or noxious contaminants.

A further object includes means for obtaining materials which are recyclable from the burning chamber after the combustible material is burned off.

Another object includes the provision of fans to redirect the particles downward back into the chamber for reburning.

Still another object is to provide an excellent refractory material in the fire box.

Further, it will be readily appreciated from the following that the teachings in instant invention are usable in burning apparatus of the type shown in by earlier U.S. Pat. No. 3,646,897


The invention as illustrated includes an apparatus for burning combustible trash. The smoke and gases of combustion pass upwardly through a slot-like flue uptake formed by inclined steel plates. The products of combustion are then directed, by an arrangement of baffles, through defined paths in which a plurality of water sprays scrub the contaminants therefrom. As many stages of scrubbing as necessary for a given process may be provided until the remaining gases are sufficiently clean to be released into the atmosphere. The water is collected in a combination settling and heat dissipation tank. The sediment is removed, and the water is then reused. Various additives may be provided in the water if necessary to permit the removal of a particular contaminant.

There is an adjustable speed induced draft device provided as required to offset the impedance caused by the sprays and to provide sufficient air for proper burning.

The scrubber stages can be provided in the form of modules to allow combining the optimum number for any given circumstance. Further, the modules, combined with simple modifications, may be installed on existing incinerators, as well as adapted to non-combustion process equipment for scrubbing the contaminants from the emissions prior to releasing them into the atmosphere. For example, the device can readily lend itself to the removal of solid particulates, dust, vapors and entrained liquids.

The unit can be built of any convenient size and for either indoor or outdoor use.

When the devices are combined in modular form, the pollution control modules can be built, for example, in three or four standard sizes; whereas, the burning modules may be provided in two standard sizes. This will then permit a "building block" type of approach to handle the requirements of most users. The pollution control modules may be stacked to provide successive stages for adequate contamination removal to suit the individual requirements.

A drawer type burning chamber including pumicite material in a refractory may be used to reclaim copper wire, etc. after the insulation is burned off.

Finally, fans are provided to redirect the smoke particles downward for reburning.


The above and other objects of the invention will become more readily apparent from the following detailed description and accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic view, partly in section, illustrating the system in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary elevation view, partly in section, illustrating a modification of the incinerator of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a horizontal sectional view taken along line 3--3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical section view, taken along line 4--4 in FIG. 3.


Referring now particularly to FIG. 1, the unit includes a combustion module generally indicated at 10 and a plurality of pollution control washing modules 12 and 14 positioned above the burning or combustion chamber 10. Two washing modules are illustrated; however, it is obvious that additional such modules can be positioned on top of each other, depending upon the requirements of the particular installation. A stack 16 is positioned above the last washing module.

A water and settling tank 18 is positioned alongside the burning module. This is a conventional type of settling tank where waste water flows in, and the water pumped out is first cleaned by settling and/or filtering. A supply pump 20 removes the clean water via a line 22 to a series of vertical supply manifolds 24. These in turn feed the water to a plurality of headers 26 in each washing module. The water is returned to the settling tank 18 via a line 28.

Illustrated in FIG. 1 is a door 30 pivoted on a pair of hinges 32 and including a handle 34. A conventional solenoid lock with a thermocouple operated self-locking latch is illustrated at 36. The latch will only permit opening of the combustion chamber door 30 when the temperature has reached a predetermined low level.

The refractory chamber is made of a pumicite material illustrated in U.S. Pat. No. 3,362,837 which has been found to be an outstanding refractory material since it can withstand very high temperatures and is resistant to corrosion. When a door is used, a grate 40 is positioned at the bottom of the burning chamber. The grate which can be seen in cross section with another modification in FIG. 4 includes a conventional arrangement of steel bars 42 surrounded by refractory material 44, including pumicite as taught by the patent and as discussed below which will add extended life to the grating material and will withstand even higher temperatures than the steel without bending or corroding.

A pair of fans 46 are positioned on at least two sides of the chamber for the purpose of redirecting the smoke particles back into the burning chamber so that they are completely burned, at least to the extent possible, prior to leaving the combustion chamber.

A pair of sidewalls 48 extend below the combustion chamber providing an open space 50 for allowing air flow to enter from the outside up through the grating system 40. The supports 48 may be of any suitable material, such as gauge sheet metal and surround the outside of the refractory material 38.

As the gases of combustion rise from the combustion module 10, they pass through inclined plates 52 having lips 54 extending into an opening 56 below a lower baffle plate 58. The gas will pass around the lips 54 and a plurality of upturned edges 60 on lower baffle 58. As will be appreciated from the discussion below, the plates 52 provide a trough to receive the washing water which is then channeled into return line 28 by appropriate means such as openings therein.

The shape of the lower baffle 58 is significant in that the upturned edges 60 provide a collection means for the washing water. The extreme heat coming out of the combustion chamber into area 56 below the lower baffle heats the baffle thus creating steam from the water which has condensed thereon. The steam mixes with the smoke as it rises. The addition of the washing water coming down condenses the steam and brings the dirt out of the rising smoke in a precipitation action.

Positioned above baffle 58 are a pair of baffles 62 having an opening 63 therebetween. Going up the module is a next baffle 64 having passages 66 on either side thereof. The baffles alternate in this manner going up through the two modules 12 and 14. Attached to the baffles and positioned thereunder are a plurality of nozzles 68 attached to the headers 26. It will be appreciated that with the instant arrangement the smoke and gases will be required to follow the arrows in a tortuous path thus passing under the greatest number of washing nozzles.

Positioned in the upper module 14 is a top baffle 70 having downwardly turned edges 72. The purpose of the top baffle and outer edges 72 is to catch the moisture laden smoke and swirl it around the edges 72 thus facilitating in the condensation of the water. The water will then drip its way down to the lower baffle 58, and any water which is not turned into steam again will run over the edges 60 and into the trough formed by elements 52.

A variable speed induced air fan 74 is positioned in the stack 16. Proper adjustment of the fan plays an important part in the pollution-free operation of the unit. The fan will create the draft up through the combustion chamber, counteracting the downward flow of the washing water, as well as fans 46 which are directed at approximately a 45° angle downward into the combustion chamber.

Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 3, a drawer 100 having a pair of handles 102 is seen positioned in the combustion chamber in place of the door 30. The purpose of the drawer is that material such as insulated wire can be positioned therein, and the wire can be retrieved after the insulation is burned off. Thus, the drawer arrangement is particularly advantageous is recyclable material. The drawer may have an outer framework 104 of metal and a refractory lining of pumicite 106. As discussed above, a grate seen in cross-section in FIG. 4 has an inner core of metal and an outer coating 44 of pumicite-refractory material.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,362,837 teaches the method of making the material I have discovered is useful as a refractory material, and this patent is incorporated herein by reference. Specifically, I mix 6 cubic feet of expanded volcanic ash (pumicite) with one cubic yard of aggregate, water and cement to obtain the proper density and heat resistance.

While the invention has been described, it will be understood that it is capable of further modifications and this application is intended to cover any modifications, uses or adaptions of the invention following in general the principles of the invention and including such departures from the present disclosure as come within known or customary practice in the art to which the invention pertains, and as may be applied to the essential features hereinbefore set forth and as fall within the scope of the invention or limits of the appended claims.